Here is a list of play and family activities for autistic children and young people in and around Bristol:
The Social Skills Agency
The Social Skills Agency offers social skills learning programmes for children and young people who struggle with social communication. SSA specialises in supporting children and teenagers with Asperger’s Syndrome (AS) and high-functioning autism (HFA). Social skills learnt in the groups may include: turn taking, sharing, negotiation and compromising, understanding multiple perspectives and friendships. Through drama clubs, music groups, film clubs, comics and much more, children and teenagers practice social learning and consolidate their social skills in a safe and positive environment. There is a cost for this activity.
Click to go to website
Bristol City Council Short Breaks Scheme
Bristol Council uses the term ‘short break’ to refer to an opportunity for a family of a child with additional needs to enjoy leisure time together or apart. Please see this page to learn more about the short break opportunities offered by the Council.
Bristol Short Breaks for Disabled Children (be sure to scroll down to the bottom of the page where there are several helpful links)
Ohana Play runs play sessions where all children with special needs and their families are welcome. It is a relaxed, safe and friendly environment where children can play and parents can chat and get support. There are a wide range of toys available, as well as a games console and TV/DVD player.
Age range: 0-10 (but older children with additional needs are welcome)
Address: Ohana Play is inside Action Indoor Sports, Bamfield Road, Whitchurch, Bristol BS14 0XA
Click to go to Facebook group
Children’s centres offer a range of activities, information and support from professionals working in a wide range of fields for children under five and their families Many centres run activities especially children with additional needs.
Age range: Preschool
Click to visit the website for Bristol Children’s Centres
Dimensions Autism-friendly Cinema
On Sunday mornings throughout the month, films suitable for all audiences are screened in a sensory-friendly and inclusive environment. Adjustments at the cinema reduce over-stimulation and create a welcoming place for autistic people to enjoy films with their families, friends or carers.
Age range: Any age
Click to visit the website to learn more about this scheme
Keynsham Holiday Play Scheme
The charity KIDS run a play scheme in the school holidays for children and young people with disabilities.
Age range: 5-19.
Click to visit the KIDS website to learn more about this scheme
Kingsmour Playground Club
The playground, tucked away in Kingston Seymour was constructed by and regularly maintained by Yeo Valley Lions Club. It is much used by the local families who have children with special needs and by organisations for those who have. Its facilities include specially-designed playground equipment that allows a carer to accompany a child on a swing or down a slide.
It also has sandpits and rocking toys and plenty of room to run around and let off steam in a secure and safe environment. A waterfall and a movement-sensitive water feature make a calming corner of the garden. There are picnic tables and a rain shelter and lots of bikes and tricycles have been donated by local people to add to the fun. In 2014 we added a wheelchair swing.
Age range: Any age, depending on disability
Address: Kingsmour Playground, Middle Lane, Clevedon BS21 6XW
For an application form, please write: The Secretary, Yeo Valley Lions Club, c/o 3 Chescombe Court, Chescombe Road, Yatton, Bristol BS49 4JZ
Click to visit website
Let’s All Play
Let’s All Play offers free, inclusive play for disabled children aged 5-15 and their siblings. The sessions take place at Adventure Playgrounds around the city.
Click here to visit website
Play Rangers (Bristol Playbus)
“Play Rangers are outreach workers who provide exciting, challenging and risky play opportunities for children and young people. Promoting healthy, fun activity in their parks and open spaces. We give children of all abilities and backgrounds the chance to play freely together, interact and make new friends.” Children with additional needs are welcome.
Click here to visit website
The Sensory Hub
The Sensory Hub is a private sensory room offering a one-to-one service open to the general public in Bristol. Specialising in providing sensory needs to those who are affected by disability, they can tailor the space to suit your needs to ensure a beneficial visit.
This is a lovely space to share quiet, calming time with your child.
Age range: All ages
Address: 37 Leda Avenue, Hengrove, Bristol BS14 9DG
Telephone: 07909 505446
Golden Hill Community Garden
This wonderful, accessible community garden in Horfield runs special activities for children with additional needs.
Telephone: Lucy on 07506 905 394
Click to visit website